Sunday, May 06, 2007

Name Changes in Patents

Wyoming State Library came up with a great idea with its Name Changes in Patents Database. They've indexed all the patents in the USPTO's online collection that identify a legal name change, and linked search results to the relevant patent images. It may be longshot that you'll find a relative, but longshots can pay off big.

Métis National Council Historical Online Database

Anyone with deep roots in western Canada should be excited about the new MNC Historical Online Database. It brings together data from the 1881, 1891, and 1901 censuses, the Manitoba Act Affidavits, and the Northwest "Half-breed" Scrip Applications, and provides links to the original documents. There's even an option for registered users to build a family tree online. This looks like a model other First Nations will want to emulate.

The Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project

The Pittsburgh Jewish Newspaper Project has fully searchable digitized images of Jewish papers published in the 'Burgh as far back as 1902. Search results are not descriptive or ranked by relevance, but the linked images for later issues (those not scanned from microfilm) are some of the finest I've seen on the web.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Old Pictures

Need a photograph of a moose in harness, the First Lady's raccoon, or an overdressed woman typing? Probably not, but you might find something you need in the remarkable collection at Old Pictures. The quality of the photos is top-notch, and the range of subjects impressive. Subscribe to the associated Old Picture of the Day blog for a daily fix of old-fashioned shutterbuggery.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

The Turnbo Manuscripts

The Turnbo Manuscripts comprise 28 volumes of anecdotes from the Ozarks collected by Silas Claiborne Turnbo—a handy palette for adding color to a drab family history. In stories such as "Mistook Him For a Wild Turkey and Killed His Own Son," "She Did Not Want to Be Dead as Bad as She Pretended To," and "A Happy Courtship That Ended with a Tearful Disappointment" you may well find a reference or two to relatives from that part of the country. Just don't expect a happy ending.